Because conformity is not a value that either my husband or I hold dear, we expect and hope that our kids will do their own thing, even when it isn't "cool." Unfortunately, being a kid is hard, and bullying isn't always as obvious as television shows and movies make it out to be. In fact, there are more than a few types of low-level shaming your kid is probably experiencing at school that might not even be on your radar.
As a mom, it totally breaks my heart to I learn that my kids are being shamed, teased, or made to feel less than the perfect I know them to be. I feel so helpless, because there is really nothing I can do to prevent it. My kids have been subtly shamed at school for not conforming to gender roles, and sent home for not following bullsh*t dress codes. They have been excluded on the playground and in the lunch room by other kids. They've learned the hard way that peer pressure is real, especially when it comes to the clothes you wear and the activities you choose, but it also applies to things like religion and politics. And while I don't want my kids to feel even low-key shame, I also don't want them to be afraid to be themselves.
So, my partner and I find ways to support our kids as individuals, tell them they don't have to like things just because the other kids do, and try to build them up in advance. We can't prevent shaming, but we can let them know that they are awesome kids just the way they are, can help them pick themselves up after it happens, and can be on the lookout for the following situations where low-level shaming is probably occurring: